This army, as with many armies I am sure, was born out of the deisre to attend a themed tournament. The age of Timuer the Lame and his Timurids brought war to many parts of the world, not the least of which was greater Persia. It is a period I didn't have any knowledge of, and so it was a learning experience as well as a great opportunity to paint a fancy-schmancy cavalry type army. For more background on the period and this particular army, see my Islamic Persian historical background article.
Along with the tournament and the army concept itself, I saw the Navwar line of figures for this period and just had to jump in with both feet! The Navwar figs, although limited in pose variation, looked to be expertly crafted (both sculpting and casting) and true to the period. When my figs arrived I wasn't dissappointed, and I set down to work! As such, I highly recommend the Navwar figures, and in particular this medieval Persian line!
The entire Islamic Persian DBA army in all its glory. Overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out; the colours are bright, the variation of figure poses (or rather, lack thereof) didn't reduce the overall look, and the sideways basing scheme gives the army a dynamism or sense of movement.
The command general's element for the Islamic Persian army. I really like these figures, they have a lot of character... Some of the best that I've seen for sure. The command pack actually came with four figures, a standard bearer, the general (with the mace), the horn blower, and a drummer. I decided to go with the horn blower though because I really like the figure! Look at that horn! It is awesomely large! Only in Persia :) The flag there is not exactly necessarily perfectly historical for the Safavid Persians, but it is valid none the less. The lion and sun had been a symbol of Persian royalty from the time of the Achaemenid Persians up until the Shah was turned over by the current Iranian regime. The flag turned out fairly well, except I should have gone with a softer colour for the dots I think...
This element was one of the last two cavalry elements in this army! The last two of a total of eight! I went with a patterned tunic on the archer in the middle and a flower motif on the archer's quiver and bow case. Unfortunately, it's tough to see because of the position of the figure on the element. I'm happy with this one though.
Like the previous element, I went with fabric patterns on the tunic there and a quiver have flower and leaf patterns. I also went with a red flag on this one, which is the first solely red flag in the army! Also, the blue/light blue barding turned out exceptionally well on the figure in the middle there.
This element would have benefited from some variation in figure pose. Since Navwar only has a single pose per pack, it would have meant buying a second pack; Navwar has a few different packs of these Afghan foot soldiers. Despute that though, with a few bends in arms, it worked pretty well anyway I think. And, with the dead horse on there, it really breaks up the monotony! The flag is the early Safavid dynasty flag
Yet another element of 3 cavalry. This army has eight in total, including the general. I went with a larger flag, but kept with the same basic colour scheme as all the other cavalry in this army. Notice though that the figure on the right of the element isn't identical to the one in the middle. It is the standard bearer from the command pack. I used it in this element instead of the command element to break up the monotony of the two upright lance poses and also because this standard bearer figure is actually based on the general figure... So I couldn't include it on the general's element! Overall, pretty happy with this element as well... I am so familiar with these figs now though that painting has become a lot easier.
These are the two Turkoman horse archers that play the role of Light Horse for this army. The identical poses were tough to cover up, but I am still happy with the way these two turned out! The horses are cool as well; in spite of being quite a bit bulkier than their Persian barded counterparts, they have some nice details that most lines don't bother with! Instead or re-using horses from some other line, they actually made some nice detailed figs!
Using an extra archer from the pack I did some quick conversions and put together a dead figure for the base of this one. It adds a little more urgency to the element, and uniqueness. Despite the single pose for these figs, the variation in colour and the dead archer give this one a pleasing look!
More of the fine Navwar Islamic Persian miniatures. Despite the fact that there is only a single pose, the varied paint scheme makes up for it I think.
This is the first of three more elements, and with these I basically used them for another round of testing. I decided to try some new colours as opposed to sticking to the ones I had done before on the first element (with the exception of the red and yellow). Overall I am happy with them. They match well with the other colours, and they look good!
As a nod to the current flag of Iran, I went with the red, white and green, although I did realize a little too late that it was upside down, oh well ;) The gray/green combination didn't work all that well on the horse's barding in this image, so I likelt won't use that scheme again. Overall, I am happy with these as well.
And even more of these cavalry figures. All in all the limit of two poses didn't effect this range all that much. So, for the Islamic Persians, I would highly recommend the Navwar line. I am not so sure there other, smaller lines will work that well, but these are spiffy!
This most excellent range of Medieval Persians was a pleasure to paint. This group here is a test group; I will base the scheme and style of the rest of the army on things I learned here. The figures themselves are great, excellent sculpts, clean casts. The only issue with Navwar Roundaway medievals is the pose variation. These are the two mounted Medieval Persian poses they did, so get ready to see more, and more, and more of these two horses and riders!